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Stage 511 – Pine Lake to Champagne

East is good. Uphill’s not good. But it is what it is and not for the first time, nor the last, Around The World throws up a lumpy climber. The whole of the stage, from start to finish, follows the meandering Dezadeash River. When I say meandering, I absolutely mean it. I’m trying to think back to stages that have rivers as mature as the Dezadeash that offer so many bends: there are indeed oxbow lakes aplenty on stage 511.

The rollout from about five miles east of Pine Lake starts climbing ever so gently straight out of the gate, and the road keeps on rising for five miles. That all changes however when the Aishihik River appears on the scene at six miles: it flows north to south under Route 1 which is heading east, and half a mile south of the road it flows into the Dezadeash River which is flowing east to west against the direction of travel.

It takes over two miles to drop down to the Aishihik and climb back up the other side to the same elevation, and when you get there, the lumpy climb starts all over again, passing the Otter Falls at seven miles and crossing more water (unnamed) either side of ten miles. The summit of the climb is at twelve miles, but alas it’s not the highest elevation of the stage: for that you’ve got more work to do later on. However there is respite over the top in the shape of a two mile descent to cross Cracker Creek just after fourteen miles. Just after that the Alaska Highway runs very close to the Dezadeash River (or should I say the Dezadeash River meanders very close to the road) and that signals the start of the biggest and longest climb of the stage.

Between sixteen miles and the finish, a distance of just over five miles, the road climbs nearly three hundred feet and you won’t be surprised to learn that the finishing line is the highest point on the stage: the good news, however, if there is any, is that the gradient tails off in the last mile.

Distance: 22 miles / 35 kilometres

Distance: 22 miles / 35 kilometres

Ascent: 647 feet / 197 metres

RGT Magic Road: tlFd0xv9LJuj

Total distance: 21.43 mi
Max elevation: 2480 ft
Min elevation: 2130 ft
Total climbing: 647 ft
Total descent: -343 ft

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